Technology ever changing (us)

Sometimes it’s tough to make the switchover to technology. When I first started writing, I handwrote everyone on looseleaf notebook paper. In junior high, I even drew my comics on lined notebook paper, some of the pages ripped right out of a spiral binder. In senior high, I learned to use the typewriter, but we didn’t have an electric one at home like the school had—we had an old manual typewriter and those things were hard to use!

As a senior, however, I got a Commodore 64 and learned the ways of word processing. Actually, I got it because I thought I’d need it in college (I did) and it was either that or an electric typewriter. Back then, the hot thing was electric typewriters with “memory.” Ha

I used a dot matrix printer with my C-64 and printed everything out. I had files and files and files of stuff.


See that’s part of the problem with ever increasing technology, it becomes incompatible with the old technology. So I’ve got stacks of short stories and some comic scripts on paper only. I mean, it’d take time to RETYPE them JUST to have them on my computer. (Once after an upgrade, my Mom graciously typed several of my stories in for me. I’m her favorite son!)

Dad always laughs at how his parents used to struggle with the VCR. Now, he laughs at himself as he watches Angie and I rearrange his computer settings and watches Brittany teach my Mom things about the cellphone…a phone which Brittany has only had since Christmas!

But I often wonder what I should do with the stacks and stacks of paper I have. It would sure save me some filing cabinet space if I could find a way to get rid of it. Admittedly, much of it I hold on to for sentimental reasons. Some of it I hold on to it pack-rat-style thinking “Oh! I’ll use this idea some day in a story. I’d better keep it!”

I organize my computer files in much the same way I organize my paper files, though. I have one “big” writing folder…then in that folder are several sub-folders of the different kinds of writing I do. I even have one labeled “ideas and such.” I’ve tried to go through my hand-written “idea” folder and put them all in my computer folder, but for some reason it just isn’t the same opening all the idea files as it is flipping through a folder full of post-its, ripped pages, and napkins with ideas written on them.

Makes me wonder what sort of technology my kids will be laughing at me and BJ about?


Filed under Columns, writing

4 responses to “Technology ever changing (us)

  1. David Rogers

    How true!

    In 1998, I mentioned going out an buying some records to my then 8 year old son, his reply, “What’s a record”? He only knew cd’s.

    A few weeks ago, I mentioned going out an buying some cd’s to my now 8 year old daughter, her reply, “What’s a cd, and why go out, why not use amazon?” She only knows mp3’s, and she’s all about the internet!

    I miss my stone and chisel!

  2. I still have my dot matrix printer. In a box, in the closet. Don’t know why…

    Agreed – keeping your work on floppies(oops) disks(uh-oh)cd/rom’s(still useful, thank g.) and thumbdrives isn’t the answer, because, as you ask, ‘what’s next?” No matter what we do, we will be destined to re-do the old work time and time again. This speaks to us about not dwelling on what we have done in the past, but what we should be doing NOW, doesn’t it? But, I like my old stuff, and now and then find something that makes recycling it worth the effort.
    If you get a solution, let me know!

  3. John


    Check to see if anyone local that you know has access to a photocopier that can scan directly to PDF.

    Mine at work does. You put the stack of paper in, hit COPY, and it scans them and automatically emails it to me.

    It’s pretty cool.

    The documents aren’t editable (scanned as a picture — doesn’t have any OCR capability) but if you’re just looking to have digital copies of the works (for backup, etc.) it’s a good way to go . . .

  4. ant'ny

    Most scanners today enable you to scan to MSWord or TXT files. The nice part about that is, should you want to ressurect an “oldie but a goodie,” you can still edit it.

    I need to do this with my thesis, but the thought of scanning 200+ pages is daunting enough.

    One of these days, perhaps, when I’m “bored.” =)

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